Book Review: Greatness & Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy by Alex Brown

Barbaro was a Kentucky Derby winner that caught the hearts of thousands, and his story is beautifully told in Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy.  Alex Brown had the privilege of being a part of both Barbaro’s story and his legacy.  He gives firsthand accounts of stories about Barbaro from his birth to his untimely death.  This knowledge and perspective is what makes this book so impressive.

The first part of the book tells Barbaro’s story: how he developed in his training, how he won the fondness of those around him, how he never lost a race, his triumphant Kentucky Derby win to his disaster at the Preakness, and his fight for his life.  Each word is perfectly crafted with beautiful illustrations that brings this magnificent horse to life.  Barbaro was a fighter in life, and his legacy is still fighting for other horses today.  Because he touched so many lives, other horses now have a better future, as was exemplified in the trust set up for laminitis research.  His story will cause you to smile and to cry.  It will inspire you.  You will be better for having read this book.

The latter part of the book tells the story of Barbaro’s legacy.  His plight brought awareness to some very serious issues such as laminitis, Thoroughbred welfare, and horse slaughter.  Alex Brown’s research and personal experiences with these topics will make you think about it in a new way.  His stories along with those of the Fans of Barbaro will make anyone want to do their part to help these beautiful racehorses and help ensure them a proper future after the track.

This book greatly inspired me.  In one section, Alex Brown states to the effect of “you may not be able to save them all (horses) but you can make a difference to one.”  That had a profound affect on me.  We may not be able to change the world of all the horses, but we all can change the world of one horse.  I think that is something to take to heart and take action.  I hope others will be as inspired by that thought as I have been.  I can be of help in this call to action.  I can do what I can to ensure a better future for these animals.  I started with one, my adopted exracehorse.

At the end of the book is a poem written by Gretchen Jackson, Barbaro’s owner.  I thought it was beautiful and it brought tears to my eyes.  “It is here in Kentucky I entered life, born in a stall at first light, days in the grass my mother nearby, it was here I raced and caught your eye.  I’ve come full circle, back to the start, for here is my home, and here is my heart.”

Barbaro’s story is inspiring, valiant, and heartwarming.  I hope he will touch you as he has me.

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2 comments for “Book Review: Greatness & Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy by Alex Brown

  1. Marilyn Wilson
    August 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

    Wonderful review and so true.

    • September 7, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Thank you!

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